Medical Imaging

CT (CAT) Scan > Exams & Procedures > CT Spine

A CT of the spine is performed to evaluate the spinal cord and bony structures of the spine. If the spinal cord is being evaluated, the CT scan will be done after a myelogram has been completed.

  • The scan takes about 10 minutes.
  • No preparation is required.
  • Check in at the reception desk 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time to allow time for registration.
  • You will be asked to change into a hospital gown and to remove any objects that may interfere with the scan.
  • You will need to lie very still on the table as the technologist performs the scan.
  • The Technologist can see and hear you at all times during the scan and can communicate with you via the intercom.
  • Women should inform the technologist if there is any possibility that they may be pregnant.

Will I need to have a needle?

Maybe. You may require an injection of intravenous contrast, which may be needed to evaluate blood vessels and tumours. You may feel a warm sensation throughout your body after the injection of the contrast, and you may experience a metallic taste in your mouth. These sensations are normal and disappear after a few minutes. The technologist will discuss the injection with you before the scan is completed, and will be pleased to answer any questions you may have.